Do the Shuffle

After another lengthy blog drought, I'm back on the keyboard to share a bit of what's happened around Ben town in recent months. I'll try to keep it quick.

First of all, once the season ended, so did almost all the men's partnerships. The women's teams as have stayed pretty consistent, as far as I've heard, but us guys all did the partner shuffle. From the top 4 Canadian teams, came 4 new pairings from the same 8 guys. They are as follows: Josh Binstock and Maverick Hatch, Sam Schachter and Martin Reader, Christian Redmann and Matt Zbyszewski, and finally, Chaim Schalk and myself. I can't speak for the other teams (you'll have to ask them yourselves) but I'm excited to see where things go from here.

Chaim and I have already played one NORCECA, and took home the Gold in Chula Vista, California. It was a great way to see what we were capable of, and played a big part in my decision to play with him, as I'm sure it played into his decision likewise. It will certainly be an interesting coming season, because Chaim, like anyone, has his own unique skill set that I thing will coincide very well with my own, and as a fellow Alberta native, he's obviously good people.

The second bit of news is that they've announce the dates for a new World Cup tournament to be held in Brazil this coming January. The event will host 10 men's and 10 women's teams. One from each country that won their respective Continental Cup Championships (Which Canada did for both men and women this past year in Mexico), and each country that qualified the maximum 2 teams through the top 16 for the Olympics. There will be no FIVB points awarded, but there is a chance at some good competition and a solid payout. For Canada, the women's team attending the tournament will be Heather and Liz, currently the highest ranked team. For the men it gets a little screwy.

We're having another trials. Since both Christian and I, and Josh and Martin split up after last season, they've decided a trials between all 4 teams is the fairest option. Had all partnerships stayed together, Christian and I would have gone as the highest ranked team. However, VC doesn't want to send a team that will not be playing together in the future (which in all honesty makes perfect sense to me). It's not really comparable to the last trials I went to, considering this is a couple offseason matches leading up to an offseason tournament worth no points, but Chaim and I will be motivated nonetheless because every match is as important as we make it.

Finally, it's November, so I'm growing a mustache! Not so impressive, I know, because every man who can does it, and even men who can't give it a good old fashioned try. But this year I'm actually going to try to contribute to the cause by raising money and awareness towards men's health issues like prostate and testicular cancer. To do so I've registered with the Movember Canada website. They post all the details and the issues and ways to help, and all I have to do is grow a mustache, post pictures, and try to raise a buck or two. You can visit my page at http://mobro.co/bensax

Anyway, that's what has happened and is happening in the world of Ben Jammin, I tried to make it quick, just didn't quite work.

Ben Jammin